SPECIAL FEATURE: Dean Mason on Social Media
Following on from my comments on social media in mortgages and the financial services business in general last year, I thought it would be an advantage to move toward seriously trying to raise your profile and generate business from your endeavours in this area.
So you’re tweeting, using facebook for your business and you’re on Linkedin.
Now you need to bring these to life and show your personality and unique selling points. As previously though, ensure you get compliance clearance from whoever regulates you before you put any of the following into practice.
You can’t afford to advertise on TV and you don’t own a video production company, You Tube could be the answer. Look at your competition, go to You Tube and search topics that we as mortgage brokers can talk fluently and confidently on, ‘help for first time buyers’ , ‘save money on your mortgage’ etc.
Try to think of an original title but something people might search for, say buy-to-let or whatever you want to talk about.
Then decide whether it’ll be you on screen or whether it’s to be a friend, colleague or if you just want to use pictures, diagrams or other visuals and make it as professional as you can.
Get plenty of help with filming and honest advice from friends, family and colleagues before you upload anything and if you or they are not 100% happy, bin it. Might take you a few days but it could bring your business to life.
If this is too much or not really your bag here’s how to get the most out of the Linkedin.
Join a group, one in our field if you want to raise your profile and be more credible to your connections, or even in a different field that interests you say ‘keen golfers in business’ (not sure if that’s a real group but you get the gist), make occasional intelligent and appropriate comments, don’t sign up to something you have little knowledge and/or interest in just to plug your business, you will get found out and it will lose you credibility or worse lose you clients.
Maybe link your Twitter and Business Facebook (not personal) to your Linkedin profile so your message is uniform and three fold.
Ask new clients if they use Linkedin and If they mind you asking to connect, they are not likely to say no and you will find out much more about them and who their acquaintances are (remember Linkedin is for business, so they are not giving you any information that they are not prepared to divulge to their boss or clients!)
Don’t do this with Facebook or other personal media like My Space and such as these are generally private and they will not appreciate you asking to invade their privacy… you can ask them to ‘like’ your business Facebook page though.
Set your profile so you get updates from your connections, this will let you know how work life is for them and may show you new opportunities to speak with them.
All social media is clearly about what you have to say, but with twitter it can also be about who you say it to.
If you follow profiles who have many more followers than you, try to make constructive responses to any relevant tweets, pick a topic you broadly agree with them on, but have something useful to add.
You’d be surprised how you can increase your following simply by replying to someone prominent who has a lot of followers.
I use social media often but I’m by no means an expert on the subject. There are many companies and individuals who are (or claim they are) and I’m sure if you search for one in your area and pay them they will give you many more tips, I just put in this column what has worked for me in generating new mortgage or protection business from this free PR and marketing box of tricks.